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Jon Mark Beilue column - Posted September 26, 2014 8:44 a.m.
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Artwork by Andy Chase Cundiff

October, the best month of them all

I’ve never had a bad October. Not once. I’ve had some forgettable Februarys, awful Augusts, moribund Mays, several irritating Junes, some Marches that were just a waste of time and effort, but never a bad October.

Oh, there have been some disappointing days in October, but taken in totality of all 31 days, it’s the best month of the year. Any month that allows a person to wear a wig and panty hose and consume large quantities of snacks in public and not get arrested has got something going for it.

October is my favorite month. So I say, bring it on. It’s the reward of suffering through February wind chill, March and April dust storms, and August heat. It’s the payback for May’s boredom and the tedium of January.

October, October, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

The Weather Is Just Right: Like Goldilocks in “The Three Bears” when she’s slurping the porridge, it’s not too hot, it’s not too cold, it’s juuust right. Highs in the low 70s, upper 60s, and crisp mornings. Seldom is it windy. Some days you might even throw on a sweater so that means the shirt underneath doesn’t have to be ironed. Does it get any better?

The Leaves They Are A-Changin’: I’ll be honest; I can go through a whole summer and never notice one leaf on a tree. But, all of a sudden in October, the leaves turn orange, yellow and red and it’s like this explosion of color that is just beautiful.

I’m just a few short years away from loading up in a senior citizen tour bus and hightailin’ it to Canadian to watch the fall foliage. Pumpkin punch for everyone!

The Friendliest Month: There is no more welcoming or inclusive month. We should just gather ’round a campfire, make some s’mores and sing “Kumbaya.”

In addition to the end of the Berlin Wall, the Beatles’ first hit song, “Love Me Do,” and the end of the Hundred Years War all occurring in October, it’s also Bullying Prevention Month.

Within that is Bullying Prevention Week, Oct. 6-11, and National Stop Bullying Day, annually the second Wednesday of the month. And that doesn’t even include Oct. 5, annually Do Something Nice Day.

Pet Peeve Week: The second week of October is traditionally reserved for pet peeves. It’s a productive time that we can all gather to discuss what really gets under our skin, while at the same time, examine our own shortcomings and try to change what might bother others.

For instance, one of mine is when in a public restroom, someone sidles up right next to me at a urinal when there’s 10 open ones of which to choose. It’s even more uncomfortable when it’s a woman.
As far as what I may do that irritates others, I don’t believe I have anything.

Football, Football and More Football: Let the pigskins fly, my friend. Football is in full force, just the way God intended. September was the month that weeded out the pretenders from the contenders, and now October brings the first real showdowns, key games that will define a season, big-time matchups.

It’s football on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. If a man must overdose on something, football seems perfectly acceptable.

Meaningful Baseball: Finally, after five months of the regular season, it’s playoff baseball. It’s that time when there’s finally some urgency, when games really mean something, and if your team is in the postseason – oh where have you gone, Texas Rangers – you hang on to every pitch.

More importantly, it means there’s something on TV on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when football is not.

A Plethora of Horror Movies: The cable networks begin the Halloween countdown by shoving as many horror movies as possible into their programming for at least two weeks. Watching a horror movie in December is just not the same.

I’ll watch parts or all of “Halloween” seven times over a 10-day stretch and marvel at what a woman Jamie Lee Curtis became. I’ll get into arguments as to who was the baddest of them all, Michael Myers, Jason, or Freddie Krueger.

Eventually we get to even the lousy horror movies, which are so bad they’re good, like “Jason X,” the 10th installment of the “Friday the 13th” series where it’s 2455 A.D. and Jason becomes unfrozen and kills everyone.

The old idea-o-meter had run low by that time. But I wish they could have tried one more, combining another October favorite, baseball, in “Friday the 13th Part XI: Jason Terrorizes the World Series.”

Leftover Halloween Candy: October is so good that even 31 days is not enough to hold it. Nothing is better than Nov. 1 and gnawing on unused Halloween bounty or rifling through your kids’ stuff and sneaking away some treasures like a Snickers or Krackle bar.

Oh, October. I’ve missed you.

by Jon Mark Beilue

Jon Mark Beilue is an award-winning columnist for AGN Media. He can be reached at jon.beilue@amarillo.com or (806) 345-3318.
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